Details on Spartina, a new Italian restaurant opening on Melrose Avenue

Chef Stephen Kalt will open Spartina, a neighborhood Italian restaurant on Melrose Avenue at Gardner Street.

Chef Stephen Kalt will open Spartina, a neighborhood Italian restaurant on Melrose Avenue at Gardner Street.

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles TImes)

Melrose Avenue is about to be home to a new neighborhood Italian restaurant.

Stephen Kalt, known as the former executive chef of Corsa Cucina at the Wynn Las Vegas and as the chef at Fornelletto at the Borgata Hotel and Casino, is opening his newest venture, Spartina, in the former Melgard space at the corner of Melrose Avenue and Gardner Street.

Kalt was most recently the chef at Caulfield’s at the Sixty Beverly Hills.

Spartina will be a reincarnation of a restaurant he opened in New York City in 1993, also called Spartina. Kalt described the East Coast version as focusing on Mediterranean, Spanish, southern Italian and north African flavors.


“The 2015 version, L.A. style, is more Italian, more market-driven with pizza and pasta,” said Kalt. “But it’s not a red sauce restaurant.”

Expect dishes such as grilled avocado with Moroccan lemon and tomato confit with Calabrian chile oil; fresh pastas; and pizzas.

“Spartina in New York City is what launched me in the culinary world and in some ways, I want to make a mark here and offer something really unique,” said Kalt, who added the name of the restaurant comes from “Spartina,” a book that won the National Book Award.

“This strip of Melrose Avenue is a bit underserved,” said Kalt. “What’s important for me is to be part of the neighborhood, but also be destination worthy.”

The 120-seat restaurant is scheduled to open for dinner service the week of Sept. 14. Spartina will eventually open for breakfast and lunch as well. Kalt also plans to make use of the space’s existing patio area, so you can have your bowl of fresh pasta, al fresco.

7505 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles.

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